When someone in the baseball community passes on, the effects are felt throughout. Last night in the Seattle suburb of Bellvue – which sits just across Lake Washington – longtime Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus died of a heart attack. He was 75.
Seattle is over 2,800 miles away from Philadelphia, but feels closer than ever today. That’s because many of us know the feeling of having our voice taken away from us too soon. Harry Kalas died in April 2009 at the age of 73 and still we search for that voice. No one will ever come close to having the impact Harry had on this city and this team, and I’ll go out on a limb and say the same holds true for Neihaus and the Mariners.
Maybe we as fans put athletes and others in the public eye on too high of a pedestal. With the way the media is now constructed, add broadcasters to that list as well. Still, we can’t help feel a connection with someone we listen to – and feel we know so well – 162 times a year. We probably listen more to that voice than we do our boss or our own mother.
Today, the baseball world mourns the death of another in the Kalas-mold. Neihaus was even known to wear ugly sport coats and shoes, just as Harry once was.
If you haven’t heard Neihaus, here’s a clip of the distinct voice heard throughout the Pacific Northwest.